What causes ocular migraines?
An ocular migraine happens when the blood flow to the eye becomes restricted due to a sudden narrowing of the blood vessels. Once the vessels relax, normal blood flow returns and symptoms clear. Usually this will have no lasting damage to the eye.
Common triggers include:
- High blood pressure
- Low blood sugar
- Excessive heat
- Bending over
- Certain types of contraceptives
They’re also more common in women, people over 40, and those with a family history of migraines or headaches.
How do you treat ocular migraines?
Treatment isn’t always necessary for ocular migraines as symptoms usually go away own their own after about half an hour. We’d recommend resting your eyes until your symptoms pass, and taking painkillers as recommended if you have an accompanying headache. Otherwise, the best thing you can do is to avoid exposure to common triggers.
However, because ocular migraine symptoms are similar to those caused by a stroke-type event in the eye, it’s important that you seek medical advice from your GP quickly so that further investigations can be considered.
If you have any concerns about the frequency of your ocular migraines, visit your GP who may also be able to recommend further treatment.
*Free exam for AA Members applies to standard eye examinations only, normally valued at $60. Excludes contact lens examination and visual field checks. Limited to one per AA Member every two years. Available to current AA Members upon presentation of AA Membership card.